How To Replace A Leaking Pressure Relief Valve In An Electric Water Heater

The pressure relief valve on a water heater is an important safety sensor that ensures the heating water doesn't become overly pressurized. The excess pressure could cause the heater to crack or even explode so you shouldn't take the problem lightly. If you see water dripping from the valve itself, the part needs replaced. Replacing the part is important and an easy enough task to perform on your own with some caution.

Things You Need:

  • Garden hose
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • New pressure relief valve

Step 1: Drain the Tank and Remove the Pressure Relief Valve

Shut off the power to the water heater unit at the circuit breaker panel. Close the water intake valve on the supply line leading to the heater. Locate the drain valve near the bottom of the water heater.

Hook a garden hose up to the valve by threading a hose end onto the grooved valve end. Place the other end of the hose over the floor drain and open a nearby hot water faucet. Open the drain valve with a screwdriver. Allow about half of the tank to drain out before closing the valve with the screwdriver. Remove the hose and turn off the faucet.

Use a wrench to unthread the discharge tube from the pressure relief valve. Use the wrench to turn the relief valve in a counterclockwise direction. Once the valve is loosened, twist the rest of the way with your hand until the valve comes off.

Step 2: Install the New Pressure Relief Valve and Fill the Tank

Insert the new pressure relief valve into the hole. Twist the valve in a clockwise direction using your hand until you can't turn it any more. Switch to the wrench and finish tightening the valve in place.

Apply a thin layer of plumber's sealant to the grooved ends of the discharge tube. Thread the tub into the pressure valve and tighten with a combination of your hand and a wrench.

Turn on a hot water faucet then open the water intake valve to fill the tank. Once the tank is full, turn on the electrical supply at the breaker. Give the tank some time to properly heat the water. Check for signs of leakage or moisture around the newly installed pressure relief valve. If you see moisture, immediately turn off the water and electricity then go to this website like this one to contact a plumber. Don't risk permanent damage to your unit.